Artisan Hope

John 8:1-11 1but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap,in order to have a basis for accusing him.But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

You all have heard it, the story of the woman caught “in the act” of adultery. It’s a profound story especially for it to only appear in 1 of the 4 gospels. John is the only writer to capture in words, the scene played out in front of the temple gates. It’s a short passage and I could elaborate on many different aspects of the story.

Such as, where were the Pharisees lurking about to have stumbled across such an intimate encounter? Also where was the gentleman involved in such pairing? Had he fled the bed of his lover or simply not been held accountable for his actions?

I could also compare us to the Pharisees and point out how each of us is looking for a loop hole in Chris’s teaching. Maybe it’s not as deliberate as to trap Him, but to justify our struggles, or to perfect our excuses to avoid that work prepared for us, or that task we long to fulfill just not in the manner, or location he has in mind.

I could expand upon Christ wisdom. He takes his time to respond reserving a moment to evaluate his plan, counts to 10 and take a deep cleansing breath. Sage advice when faced with opposition.

I could point out what a stand-up guy Jesus was. He bows his head gives the poor girl some privacy. No need to stare her down, disheveled and disgraced. She has been exposed anouf, no need for the traveling preacher to embarrass her more by taking in the sight before him.

No what I stumbled upon is much more exciting! When confronted with sin, raw and broken Jesus creates art. Our spoiled frame work is exactly the canvas he longs to draw on. His Scratching of texture into the Sand is just a reflection of the master piece he is creating in this story… In every ones story.

From the depths of shame he created grace, grace to a life spoiled and spent on the unfulfilled needs of a broken heart.

From the platforms of public ridicule he presents a welcome mat of acceptance and a eternal dwelling place.

From a death sentence with no chance of repentance, he draws a map to new life, life filled with purpose and dignity.

From the desolate he reaches with the brush strokes of the riches in heaven. He offers a spent woman, the place of a princess, in the palace of the one true God. Creator of heaven and earth.

And he is working that same masterpiece in my life and in yours. He has saved me from myself even as he protects me from the hardships of a life walked alone, colourless with opposition on every side.

Because with the passing of his grace comes the trading of my sorrows, and as I see the tender work he is designing in my life I am able to see the beauty he is working in the lives of others. “He who is without sin throw the first stone.” When we take a look at our peers how can we condemn them with out signing our own death warrant? Oh but for the Grace of a God who only can see the covering of his shed blood, washing us white as snow. So we are to see the new creation that is our neighbours, our co-workers and even our in-laws. Who of us could ever be condemned, if we recognized their resemblance on the canvas of the Most High God? How could we ever point a finger again?

But since Christ cannot look at our sin he must cover us with his sacrificial masterpiece, of a blessed pardon so he can once again dwell with his children. His teaching that early morning was of beauty and graceful strokes that paint us in a future of hope and repentance. Don’t miss the beauty we are meant to experience when the sin sheds away like the dull heavy coat of winter. Once we are unencumbered we will run through the freshness of springtime in our salvation, as God paints the trees again with new life. The living master piece of cleansed hearts and redeemed souls that will sustains us until eternity.

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